Kentucky Students Use Their AP Courses to Solve Real-World Problems
Kentucky Students Use Their AP Courses to Solve Real-World ProblemsSara Sympson, Director of Communications at the College Board
Students at The J. Graham Brown School and duPont Manual High School in Louisville, Kentucky, are doing more in their AP classrooms than learning college-level material in high school. Through the College Board’s AP with WE Service Program, they’re using their AP experience to help the world.
In partnership with educational organization WE, the program combines the academic rigor of AP with WE’s service-based learning model so students can use their classroom work to address social issues both close to home and around the globe.
According to Liz Byron, who teaches AP Human Geography at The J. Graham Brown School, “It has dramatically changed how my students are accessing the material now. Instead of studying what a food desert or hunger in the world, now they’re actually looking to create sustainable solutions, to raise awareness.”
This year, students decided to focus on one project—making a well for a village in South Sudan. Teams divide their time between global and local concerns related to the topic. “We’ve talked about what a well will do: It can be used for irrigation, it provides clean water for cooking, it allows students to be in school longer because they don’t have to travel to get water for their families,” Byron said. The project has become a schoolwide effort, and the students’ work has spilled over into other classes, including English and physics, where students have written about their work and built solar cookers.
“In a lot of classes you have a lot of people who don’t raise their hand, but thanks to this, everyone is participating, everyone is doing something,” freshman Aidan Herrlinger said. “It’s not just those people in the class who always raise their hands and answer the questions. Everyone’s getting involved. It’s a great way to teach all students.”
You can read more about the work underway in The Brown School’s and Manual’s AP classrooms.